Senate Bills Calls for $6 Billion in Grants for Small Businesses

A bill has been introduced in the US Senate asking the federal government to issue another round of COVID relief to help small businesses. The bill introduced by Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, aims to provide grants to hard-hit small businesses that could suffer significant losses from the COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. -19 pandemic.

More support for small businesses

The bill will create the Hard-Hit Small Business Relief Fund, which would transfer remaining funds from the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) COVID-19 relief programs. The bill aims to make grants worth $6 billion available to small businesses.

The Hard-Hit Small Business Relief Fund empowers the SBA to determine eligibility for sole proprietorships, independent contractors, the self-employed, and small tribal businesses. The bill also requires the SBA to publicly track and report on all grants and establish an audit process to ensure the program is managed transparently.

“U.S. small businesses continue to struggle with unsustainable debt, ongoing supply chain delays and workforce challenges that hinder their ability to operate and grow their businesses. The Hard-Hit Small Business Relief Fund Act would make the approximately $6 billion in unused federal COVID-19 small business aid available to the small businesses that need it most,” Cardin said.

The Hard-Hit Small Business Relief Fund follows a slew of aid packages being rolled out by the government. In March, President Biden issued a coronavirus stimulus bill designed to help, providing $1.9 trillion in aid to businesses and individuals. The bill includes aid in the form of tax credits, loans and grants.

Inflation, fuel surges and supply shocks are contributing to business problems

Small businesses had faced challenges as they tried to transition into the post-COVID era. Merging issues include inflation reaching a historic 8.6%, rising fuel prices and supply chain problems. These are all challenges for small businesses to stay on the road to recovery. Inflation increased across the board in May, with shelter, gasoline and food being the main contributors.

After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent during the month, with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and other major component indices rising as well. The food index rose 1.2 percent in May, while the home food index rose 1.4 percent. With less to spend, customer demand for goods and services is declining.

Companies are also having a hard time. A report from SCORE indicates that the earnings of a majority of small businesses (62.7%) are much lower than expected, or slightly lower due to lower sales and higher costs. Only 15.5% reported that their profit was higher than expected.

Lower sales, rising delivery costs, supply disruptions, labor shortages, the pandemic and global instability have all been factors. About 58.6% of companies report much lower or slightly lower turnover than expected, while at the same time more than half (59.5%) report that costs are slightly or much higher than expected.

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